Latest news and insights from various sources relating to UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Welcome to our newest Business Member, Campervan Finder! Campervan Finder is a leading travel agency that specialises in campervan, motorhome and 4WD rentals for their customers throughout Australia
Campervan Finder have over 250+ vehicles available for rental in all major locations such as Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Cairns, Darwin Townsville, Darwin, and Alice Springs. They also provide rentals in smaller towns such as Newcastle, Launceston, Broome, Gold Coast, Airlie Beach, and Canberra.
Being able to share their passion for the outdoors while providing their customers with unforgettable travel experiences is why we they in business.
Campervan Finder’s agents provide a one on one service to their customers, 7 days a week, and have some of the best rates in the industry to pass on to their customers.
[All images courtesy of Campervan Finder]
Ecotourism Australia is excited to welcome Sydney Harbour EcoWalks Tours to the community! We congratulate them on achieving the Ecotourism Certification, meaning their business will focus on tourism which leaves a minimal impact and teaches people about the environment, all whilst contributing to conservation and helping local communities.
Created and run by Alan Toner, a human guidebook and lover of the wilderness, EcoWalks Tours deliver scenic and educational guided tours through the fascinating bush trails of the Sydney Harbour National Park. Amid these bush trails you will have the opportunity to connect with a multitude of different elements offered in the park. From historical gems to intriguing flora and fauna, and of course the many iconic Sydney sights, these tours offer something for everyone.
For our nature lovers the Georges Head Walk offers a glimpse into the rich diversity of flora and fauna in the area including water dragons, rainbow lorikeets, Sydney red gum trees and, if you are lucky, the elusive king parrots!
The Middle Head Battery Walk is perfect for history aficionados as you wander to the Middle Head Fort learning about the significant historical and cultural heritage of the Sydney Harbour National Park.
For a truly magical dusk experience, the Twilight Discover Walk includes the perfect combination of birdwatching, dreamy sunsets with views of the iconic Sydney Harbour sites and spotlighting for mysterious nocturnal animals.
Our younger curious adventurers will be thrilled by the EcoWalker Bush Explorer Tour where they will have the opportunity to learn and search for kooky invertebrates like bugs, spiders and beetles! EcoWalks Tours also run exciting educational excursions for primary and secondary schools.
As an Ecotourism certified operator, EcoWalks Tours are very respectful of the social, cultural, traditional, and natural values, heritage, and diversity within the Sydney Harbour National Park, all of which is evidenced in their wonderful tours.
They pride themselves on achieving sustainability through minimal impact practices, using the “Leave No Trace Principal” to ensure the natural beauty of the area is preserved. This consists of different elements such as leaving what you find – take photos if you want to remember the magical flora and fauna! Also, respecting wildlife by limiting noise and making sure you use footpaths, disposing of waste properly and being considerate of other visitors.
EcoWalks Tours also work to improve and promote the ecological biodiversity of their local area by facilitating the planting of native species. By doing this they are not only improving the natural ecosystems in the park but also the environmental outcomes of the future by improving the area’s air quality.
EcoWalks Tours has also established a valuable collaboration with the Gaimaragal Group, a group which delivers educational activities on First Australian history and challenges. Through this collaboration, EcoWalks Tours offer educational workshops that enhance positive cultural appreciation and the empowerment for young people to lead positive changes in the community. Celebrating First Australians and their knowledge is vital to Australia’s future and we are thrilled to hear of this exciting relationship (Letter of Endorsement for Alan Toner Sydney Habour EcoWalks Tours, Gaimaragal Group).
Photo credits: EcoWalks Tours website and Alan Toner.
El Programa de Entrenamiento en Turismo Sostenible GSTC está trabajando con redes de viajes sostenibles y responsables líderes para los programas de entrenamiento en habla Hispana, con la meta de fomentar las oportunidades de compartir conocimiento y redes para más profesionales del turismo de todo el mundo Hispanoparlante. Tenemos el placer de colaborar […]
The 2021 Green Destinations Story Awards took place last Friday, 12 March. The globally recognised award ceremony showcased the most inspirational stories of resilient tourism practices from the 2020 Top 100 Competition – sponsored by ITB and GLP Films.
Applicant ECO Destinations Lord Howe Island, Townsville and Niue Island (South Pacific) were selected as nominees for the Green Destinations Story Awards category ‘Islands and Seaside’. Niue was selected as one of the three finalists within the category and was announced the winner in Friday evening. Ecotourism Australia congratulate Niue on this international achievement.
Niue’s story centred around their journey to becoming a ‘Dark Sky Nation’, ensuring a sustainable future for their skies through both projection of the important aerial wildlife species, preservation of cultural astrological stories for future generations and an opportunity for innovative employment through night sky tourism. You can read Niue’s story here.
Ecotourism Australia’s Chief Executive Rod Hillman said he was thrilled that one of Ecotourism Australia’s applicant ECO Destinations had won this prestigious award.
“Becoming a successful ECO Destination is about sharing stories and experiences, Niue’s success shines light on the opportunity that exists for destinations beginning their ECO Destination journey”, he said.
Only destinations that are part of the 2020 Top 100 list were eligible for nomination to the Green Destinations Story Awards, in one of the following categories:
- Communities and Culture
- ITB Earth
- Nature and Ecotourism
- Islands and Seaside
- Covid and Tourism
- Green Destinations: People’s Choice
In selection for this award, Green Destinations assessed criteria such as: how innovative the approaches are; how effective they are to solve real problems in tourism sustainability; and to what extent they can be applied elsewhere.
Congratulations again to Niue Island who won the ‘Islands and Seaside’ category. As international borders re-open, visitors have the unique opportunity to share in the world’s first and best Dark Sky experience.
To find out more about the 2021 Green Destinations Story Awards and its winners, click here.
To find out more about Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Destination program, click here.
For questions and comments, please contact:
Alyssa Sanders, Programs Manager, Ecotourism Australia
Ecotourism Australia (EA) is a not for profit, membership-based organisation inspiring environmentally sustainable and culturally responsible tourism. Internationally recognised through the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, EA designs and delivers certification programs for tourism products and destinations, assuring travellers that these are backed by a strong commitment to sustainability and quality. For more information visit www.ecotourism.org.au.
Green Destinations Foundation is a non-profit organisation for sustainable destination development and recognition, based in the Netherlands.
[all images supplied by Niue Tourism]
Congratulations to Providential Magic, for achieving ECO Certification at the Ecotourism level for their day sail tours to Whitehaven Beach, sunset tours and overnight sail charters. Providential Magic operates among the pristine 74 tropical islands of the Whitsundays in Queensland, Australia.
Providential Magic tours visit secluded bays and the iconic Whitehaven Beach. Hop on board the Providence V for a day sail tour and catch the breeze to Whitehaven and Hill Inlet. Dive into the water, grab a snorkel and see turtles swimming around the beautiful fringing coral.
If your style is to be welcomed on board with a complimentary glass of bubbles, join the classic sunset tour, hoisting the sails on Providence V and sailing into the sunset.
Sail in style on the elegant 54ft yacht MiLady for 1, 2 or 3 nights, the ultimate chilled out charter catering for up to six guests.
Providential Magic is a local family business and their vision is to honour and protect the World Heritage UNESCO listed Great Barrier Reef. In order to minimise energy consumption and waste, Providential Magic harness wind energy wherever possible, do not sell bottled water onboard, lunches are provided in picnic boxes, and the ships are fitted with environmentally friendly toilets.
Owner of Providential Magic, Lindsay Simpson is the author of award-winning book Following its Dirty Footsteps: Adani a memoir on climate change documenting the effects on the reef. The book canvases the business commitment of lobbying against climate change.
Ecotourism Australia is very proud to have Providential Magic onboard. Congratulations once again for achieving ECO Certification at the Ecotourism level.
[All images: Providential Magic Facebook]
Happy International Women’s Day 2021! Ecotourism Australia are proud to be an organisation driven by hard working and passionate women. EA’s Board is chaired by ecotourism expert and pioneer Dr Claire Ellis and she is joined on the Board by Directors Alysia Brandenburg, Dr Noreen Breakey, Caroline Densley, Wendy Hills, Janet Mackay and Rosie Sandover.
Now over to our members! Earlier this month, Ecotourism Australia sent out a survey asking you to share the inspiring stories of women who are shaping the future of the ecotourism industry in Australia. We would love to share the responses with you.
IWD 2021’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, EA is committed to championing female voices in the ecotourism industry who are challenging traditional ideas and providing new perspectives.
Environmental Manager, Busselton Jetty
Sophie is currently employed by Busselton Jetty Incorporated as the Environmental Manager. She began her tourism career in 2011 when she was employed as a Tour Guide at the Underwater Observatory when it reopened after extensive refurbishment. This role was short lived as she was promoted to the role of Underwater Observatory Manager in 2012. It was during this time that Sophie continued with her Marine Science degree and went on to graduate with honours. After the birth of her daughter Isabelle, Sophie returned to the Busselton Jetty as the Environmental Manager in 2017. Her responsibilities include overseeing educational programs, marine monitoring and research, tour guiding, further development of the Underwater Observatory customer journey and future development of the proposed Australian Underwater Discovery Centre.
“She isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty”
Sophie and the dive team clean the windows and the brackets of the Underwater Observatory weekly. This involves her using her SCUBA diving qualifications, braving the water of Geographe Bay (rain, hail or shine) and scrubbing the eleven windows below the water’s surface for upwards of an hour. Some days are more trying than others, but Sophie always returns to the administration building with a smile on her face. Sophie’s SCUBA diving qualifications, including specialties of deep and wreck diving help her to ensure that the subsea components of the Observatory are maintained to a high standard and bring a real-world perspective to her tours.
Sophie founded the Busselton Jetty Pile Rehabilitation project in 2015. This project requires using fragments of existing corals and sponges found on Busselton Jetty piles and relocating them to new piles installed at the jetty. The project has been a huge success receiving national and international recognition. The program helps spread awareness and in turn, supports further development at the not for profit, Busselton Jetty.
Executive Director, Morris Group (Northern Escape Collection)
Hayley is the sustainability values driving force behind the Morris Group of companies, including the award-winning Northern Escape Collection ecolodges. Hayley co-founded the environmental NGO Sustainable Table in 2009 to empower people to make decisions about ethical eating and was also central to setting up the Morris Family Foundation, which grants between $2-$3million annually to projects fighting climate change, promoting sustainable and regenerative agriculture, equitable growth, just societies, and health and wellbeing for all.
As the Executive Director of the Morris Group, she has ensured that these values of investing in good people and working to protect the planet through ethical and sustainable business leadership are throughout the award-winning Northern Escape Collection ecolodges. While busy ‘walking the walk’ of running a business striving for sustainability across operations, she is also a thought leader in environmental philanthropy, having been a board member with the Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network, and hosting the Deep Dive at Orpheus Island each year to promote philanthropic investment in projects to protect the Great Barrier Reef.
Hayley shows it is possible to run a successful luxury tourism business while also embedding sustainability across all operations, from big things like solar panels to small things like having no single use plastic at the ecolodges and hiring chefs who bring a sustainable food philosophy.
CEO, Women Want Adventure
Women across Australia are taking a walk on the wild side, getting back to nature to find their ‘inner wild’ and its Founder of Women Want Adventure, Monique Farmer making it happen. Monique started Women Want Adventure while working as a Physical Health and Outdoor Education teacher 4 years ago. She’s created a community that’s all about supporting, nurturing and empowering women to kick off their heels, lace up their boots and get back to nature. She’s a passionate advocate for educating women on our natural environment and experiencing the outdoors in a safe way for all fitness and experience levels. Since starting Women Want Adventure, she’s been guiding over 4800 women across Australia on hiking, kayaking, camping and a range of outdoor experience.
Monique recognized a need within the outdoor industry to encourage more women to break down barriers to getting outside and challenge themselves. She’s helped change thousands of lives, including impacting the Outdoor Industry standards for female guides.
You won’t find Monique behind the desk, she’s out there guiding trips, paddling the kayak, chatting with women on the trails, setting up tarps and immersed in what it takes to run a business with impact. She’s all about bringing women together and truly deserves the recognition of the impact she has had in women’s lives.
Lizzie Corke OAM
CEO, Great Ocean Road Ecolodge/Conservation Ecology Centre/Wildlife Wonders
In 2000, Lizzie co-founded the Conservation Ecology Centre to develop and deliver solutions to the most urgent conservation challenges in the Otways. She works to facilitate this important work by leading a team committed to effective conservation and through organisational development, building partnerships, and engaging community. Ecotourism plays a critical role in the CEC’s funding and engagement programs – the Centre established the Great Ocean Ecolodge in 2004 and Lizzie is currently working the development of a new social enterprise ecotourism venture ‘Wildlife Wonders’ on the Great Ocean Road.
Lizzie is the recipient of the Banksia Foundation 2005 Prime Minister’s Environmentalist of the Year award and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2020 for service to conservation and the environment. She has previously served as a Director of Ecotourism Australia and as Chair of the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority Community Advisory Group. Lizzie and team have just launched Wildlife Wonders, a new ecotourism attraction on the Great Ocean Road supporting sustainable funding models for conservation and generating local, regional employment and business opportunities through the social enterprise aspect of the operation.
Marketing and Management, Pumpkin Island and Elysian Retreat
Laureth Rumble’s childhood dream took her from a small diving mecca, Sodwana Bay, in South Africa to living on Pumpkin Island in the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Her experience in hospitality was shaped by a series of family-owned restaurants, boutique hotels and guest houses where she started working as a young girl. Her spirit for adventure took her to all corners of the globe from mixing cocktails on super yachts in the Mediterranean to looking after celebrity children.
Now, Laureth and her husband Wayne have set their sights on boutique, sustainable island retreats. They pride themselves on exceeding guest expectations and providing an exceptional experience with a strong emphasis on giving people the chance to disconnect from busy lives.
Her love of the ocean, art and all things beautiful have inspired the style of the retreats and their combined passion for the environment and renewable energy have set the tone for their ethos and operational structures.
Laureth’s passion for people, her caring nature and her vision for a better future inspires her guests, the teams on the islands and friends and family.
CEO, Busselton Jetty
Lisa is a fantastic spokesperson for the ecotourism industry and uses her extensive network to communicate issues and work on solutions. Lisa likes to keep moving forward and consistently looks for new ways to improve the Busselton Jetty ecotourism model.
“Lisa does what she says she will do – every time!”
With a Bachelor of Business, a Masters in Regional Development, and Environmental Auditing qualifications, Lisa has worked in the non-profit, public sector and private sector for the past 28 years. As CEO of Busselton Jetty Incorporated, one of Western Australia’s most spectacular ecotourism tourist attractions, Lisa is committed to ensuring the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the Jetty
Lisa lives in Busselton with husband Nathan and daughter Calista, two dogs and two bunnies, with a son Cooper at University in Perth. Lisa came into tourism as the CEO of Busselton Jetty in 2015, and it is her mission is to ensure the Jetty is here for future generations.
Ecoguide, tour leader, snorkel instructor and Coxswain, Polperro Dolphin Swims & Canopy of Care
Jess started her career as a research assistant with Polperro Dolphin Swims & Canopy of Care, where she would observe dolphin behaviours and collect data at the direction of PhD students. She then went on to train as an instructor, qualify as an Eco Guide and became a marine biologist in her own right.
“Jess is a natural educator and enthrals tourists, students and even politicians with her deep passion for the ocean”
As part of her role, she delivers Polperro Dolphin Swims’ Canopy of Care program to adolescents in a manner that not only brings the curriculum to life but also enables students to become custodians of their future. Jess is applauded for her dedication to ensuring access and inclusion for all abilities, backgrounds and cultures.
Being young and able to relate readily to all ages, she is especially able to ensure young people go away with hope rather than helplessness, with ability rather than inaction and with amazing and indelible memories to last a lifetime. Jess has shared her knowledge and practices within the Wildlife Act (Marine Mammals) with whale tour operators in the Pacific Islands. She has travelled widely, applied herself to studies and shared without reserve to ensure that caring for the future is a shared responsibility and something we can all contribute to.
Owner, Yelverton Brook Eco Spa Retreat & Conservation Sanctuary
Joy Ensor’s career in ecotourism started with Perth’s King Park Guides back in the late 1970’s, completing their hands-on training to become an accredited tour guide. In 1988 she then purchased a raw 100-acre bush block with her husband Simon and over the past 30 years has built it into a thriving ecotourism destination. As Joy and husband Simon developed Yelverton Brook into a predator-free sanctuary, she began offering it as a safe release site for endangered and rehabilitated injured native wildlife.
As a member of Ecotourism Australia’s Hall of Fame, educating people on native Australia is of paramount importance to Joy and she has regularly spoken at conferences around Australia. Joy was a founding member of the Skal International Bunbury/Margaret River chapter, later becoming President of the group. She has often attended National Assemblies, speaking on Ecotourism and it is benefits to the wider tourism members.
Joy was a board member of Australia’s South West, and member to the Regional Tourism Association. She believes her industry involvement importing to adding in a small operator’s perspective with a strong ecotourism focus to champion, helping people to see the much bigger picture of the impact of tourism.
Over the years, Joy has developed Wildlife Journals for guests to record their sightings which make remarkably interesting reading. She also writes about the most popular wildlife, birdlife and fauna on their website as well as sharing live videos on their Facebook page.
[Cover photo: Shea Wittig, Dr Noreen Breakey, Nadine Schramm, Fay Dawson, Claire Ellis, Alysia Brandenburg, Caroline Densley, Wendy Hills, Janet Mackay and Alyssa Sanders]